Calling his third album The Killer sounds unforgiving, but Shed seems such an inoffensive moniker, bordering on a random flick through the dictionary as way of choosing, that you wonder how much harm he can really do. It becomes a classic sucker punch in a program of techno guarantees that the majority seem ignorant of. Once you’ve bought into the callous from passive persona, Rene Pawlowitz’s main means of attack is nothing simpler than sounding louder than everyone else. Rocket science it most definitely ain’t, but Shed’s drums on “I Come By Night” and “Ride On” are some of the nastiest kicks and thwacks speakers will have forced upon them, rigging up a PA system for a prison of nightmares.
Two additional tactics make The Killer much more multipurpose than your average techno assassin. Ambient detoxes renounce the hammerings and break up the black-heartedness, either for Shed to wind up for his next attack, or to let listeners off the hook so they think the album is human after all. Naturally it’s for the former’s benefit. Tellingly, tempo changes are key; boring holes into skulls doesn’t belong exclusively to the 4×4 rhythm, with Shed flipping to two-step and irregular marches and kickbacks to disorientate your already mercy-pleading ears even further. Forty-five minutes that you’re unlikely to forget in a hurry. File under: The Fear Ratio, Emptyset, The Traveller
Antony Williams will forever be judged by the irrepressible “Footcrab.” If you’re after more of the same crowd-slaying, booty bass-beating juke that sends vocal samples spinning in the middle of a game of sonic tetherball, you do get cruder incarnations “Bad Things” and “Beeps” both featuring Spank Rock, and “Starluck” dishing out drum machine punishment. The rest of his debut LP refers to his breathless calling card, but in a slower and chunkier format of torrential up-down drum kicks and cowbells, and Chicago prototypes dragged down by low-end weight.
Whether athletically muscular or inexplicably ponderous (“Ass Jazz”), Transistor Rhythm stands for a kind of primal tribalism, with “Dance of the Women” mixing up high-speed carnival and indigenous flavors. In fact it can get a little too clunky and unsophisticated — “Sooperflooper” and its fizzy riff are out of keeping – as Addison Groove strips down the ultramodern facade to create a weirdly clever paradox, or con trick, of future-past, until he has cast himself as “Homosapien beating drum harder and harder.”
A compact album that barges through the front door, rattles the place and leaves its quaking upon a relatively hasty exit, Williams is unable to replicate his hit work with something that you’re happy to be thrown around the club by. At the very least, those that just love noise will get on board immediately. File under: Headhunter, Lazer Sword, Blawan